Whether its a dog or a dove, treat animals with love.
Call Us Now (239) 285-6311 | Email Us 

Traveling with Your Dog

Let’s say that every summer, you take a long road trip with your family. Normally you’d find a pet sitter or bring your dog to a kennel, but this year you’ve decided to bring him. After all, he’s a part of the family and you want him to be able to experience new things, too. How do you prepare your pet for a road trip? We’ve got some tips and tricks to keep you and your pet safe, happy, and healthy for your summer adventures.

Take your dog for a test drive. If your dog isn’t used to riding in the car, then it’s probably a good idea to take him for a few test rides before you pop him in the car for a weeklong cross-country adventure. Consider bringing him when you go to get gas, or when you’re dropping your kids off at friend’s houses for play dates. If they play sports and it’s at a pet-friendly area, bring your dog along. Even bringing him to the local dog park gets him used to the task of riding in the car.

Bring the right foods and medications. You don’t want to be 4 hours away from home when suddenly you realize you forgot Fido’s specialty food, or his medications are sitting on the counter. You’re outside your everyday travel zone, and you don’t even know where you can find his meds or food. Make sure you pack all of your dogs food and meds with yours; this way, nothing is forgotten or separated mistakenly.

Bring the right accessories. You might be trying a few new things that your dog isn’t used to, so you’ll want to invest in the right equipment. If you’re camping and you’ll be swimming, get a dog life vest, or even shoes to protect his feet on rough ground.

Take your dog for a checkup beforehand. As a precautionary measure, visit the vet to make sure your pup is in top condition for a road trip.

Make sure you’re staying a pet-friendly accommodations. There’s nothing worse than showing up at a hotel and finding out they aren’t pet-friendly anymore. Call ahead and use trusted search sites for this information.

Choose the right activities and destinations. If your dog is older or just isn’t used to being outdoors, then he might not be a great hiking companion. Take serious stock of his capabilities, and choose what you reasonably know he can do.

Bring all his favorite toys and comfort items. Your dog will be far away from his territory, so it’s important that he can make his own space where he feels safe. Bring his favorite smelly blanket, chewed up toy, and comfiest bed.

Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with tags at all times. If your dog runs away or someone questions you about him, then having a collar with tags will be very important.

Map out and plan pit stops. Plan ahead for all pit stops. Make sure you can walk your dog for a while so he can stretch, drink some water, play, and go to the bathroom. You’ll probably enjoy it, too!

Have Fun! Enjoy the bonding time with your family and your dog; this is an experience you both deserve!

Your Indoor Cat

How often do you hear from a fellow pet parent who feels “so guilty” when their cat sits on the window sill staring outside? They worry their cat is bored, is becoming destructive because they don’t want to be in the house anymore, or even that being inside is negatively affecting their cat’s health. They let the cat on the porch to explore a bit, and one night the cat gets out by mistake. He comes back right away, and soon this one-time thing becomes a habit. But, is this really okay for your cat? Is it actually important for your cat to go outside occasionally, or is this a myth?

Let’s take a look at some of the myths floating around about the indoor-versus-outdoor cat dilemma, and what’s best for your feline companion.

I’m worried my indoor cat gets bored.

This isn’t untrue. Your indoor cat probably does get bored from time to time. That doesn’t mean you need to be letting him outside, though. Instead, make your home more interesting. Set up perches and cat forts throughout the house for him to play in; buy him new toys; and leave the blinds open so he can see outside while you’re not home. If your home is interesting, then he won’t want to leave.

My indoor cat is overweight.

Animals sometimes become overweight, but this is easily controllable. This can be managed with a combination of portion control, daily exercise, and play time. Try not to feed your cat wet food if you can help it, and cut back on the treats. Try incorporating toys into his routine that will encourage him to run around the house. Perches, tunnels, and scratching posts pay homage to your cat’s internal instincts while also exercising him mentally, emotionally, and physically.

My indoor cat is destructive.

If your cat has become destructive, then there’s probably something else going on. Is your cat bored, or possibly even sick? Set up scratching posts throughout the house, and try planting catnip and other cat-friendly plants around the house for him to gnaw on; they’re non-toxic and good for his teeth. If you take steps to curb the behavior and it continues, then call your vet and arrange an appointment to see what else may be going on.

My cat has always been allowed outside, so I can’t just make him indoor-only.

Just because you’ve been doing it doesn’t mean you should. Plenty of cats transition from indoor to outdoor, and then indoor again. The key, again, is to make your home as interesting as the outdoors.

My cat is safe when he goes outside because he stays close to my home.

Your cat might not wander far, but a lot can happen in that small radius of your home. While cats like to stick within their designated territory, they sometimes wander and can’t find their way home; they are attacked by a larger predator; or are even picked up by a concerned stranger. Make sure you microchip your cat, and don’t let him out if you cant help it.

Sometimes I need to let my cat outside because I’m allergic to him.

If you suspect you’re allergic to your cat, then you need to be tested. If you’re not allergic and you’re letting him outside, then there’s an outside allergen that’s affecting your sinuses. To make matters worse, you could even be exposing your cat to allergens which could cause a reaction in him.  Get tested, and avoid letting your cat out.


Pet Preparedness

Hurricane Season 2018 began just about 2 weeks ago. We’ve already seen sub-tropical storm Alberto, and predictors are calling for another active season. You probably already have a plan in place for you and your family. But, have you thought about your pets? Do you know what you’re going to do with them as your plans change and evolve with the weather?

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind for your pets throughout hurricane season.

Make a plan. Whether you’re evacuating or staying home, make a plan. Have plenty of supplies on hand for both you and your pet, and be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Think about this plan as though you might never need it, but if you do it’s best to have it.

Stick to your plan. Once you’ve made your plan, you need to stick to it. Otherwise, you risk putting your pet in danger. if you’ve made the decision to evacuate, then do so as soon as it’s ordered. You don’t want to sit by and wait till the last minute, changing your plan multiple times and risking accidents or someone getting hurt.

Prepare a kit. Your pet’s hurricane kit should be the exact same as yours. There should be up to a week’s worth of food and water, plus any medicines they take regularly, and any others that might be necessary in case of an emergency. Remember that the power is probably going to be out for an extended period of time, and resources might be limited for a while.

Staying in. While the storm is making landfall, you’ll be forced to stay inside and take cover in the safest place in your home. During this time, make sure your pet is in a pet crate. You don’t want to be forced into an emergency evacuation where you need to leave your home quickly, but you can’t find your pet because they’re hiding.

Going out. Listen to any and all emergency broadcasts throughout the storm’s duration. They will let you know when it is safe to leave your home after the storm has passed. Take your pet out only when you have permission, and only on a leash. It’s likely there will be damage and debris, and you don’t want to risk your pet being injured because they’ve run off in excitement.

Stay calm. If you’re panicking, then your pet is panicking. Stay calm, and your pet will, too.


Pet Allergies

If you’ve been sneezing more often than not lately, then Happy Allergy Season. You may have also noticed that your pet is a bit more itchy than normal, too. That’s right, pets experience allergies in many of the same ways that we do. The only difference? They can’t tell you their symptoms. You just have to monitor them closely and try to understand what you can do to help them. If you notice your dog or cat acting differently this time of year, then learn to recognize the signs of allergies and how to try and treat them.


A dog or cat with a flea allergy can be affected by just one bite. Typical symptoms of the allergy are intense itching or scratching for days or even up to a week, resulting in rashes, loss of patches of fur, and even scabbing and bleeding. Remember that your pet doesn’t understand cause and effect like you do, so they can’t “just stop scratching” when they begin to bleed from itching too much; to them, they’re making it better. Talk to your vet about an antihistamine or a medicated shampoo to help soothe the itching. Consider inquiring about a new flea medication that might work better for your pet’s needs.


Pets can have food allergies just like people can. Beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb and soy are the most common food allergens in dogs, while common culprits in cats include beef, dairy and fish. Your pet could suffer from gastrointestinal or dermatological problems because of a food allergy. Because traditional blood testing is unreliable, you’ll need to try process of elimination with your pet. Eliminate the food and then reintroduce each one slowly, determining which one affects your pet negatively. Once you’ve figured it out, completely eliminate any foods which contain those ingredients from your pet’s diet.


Common irritants for your pets include dust mites, mold, mildew, and pollens from grass, trees and weeds. Pollens cause seasonal allergies, while other environmental allergens are problematic year-round. For these types of allergies, similar to you, your pet will need a reliable antihistamine they can take whenever their allergies flare up. It also helps to avoid exposure to whatever they’re allergic to. If your cat is allergic to dust or pollen, then keep your house as clean as you’re able, and try to keep them inside when trees or flowers are in bloom. Your cat may not be happy about it, but their immune system and sinuses will thank you for it in the long run.

Your Special Needs Dog

There are certain dogs, just like humans, who need extra care. When you decide to adopt a dog with special needs, it’s important to understand exactly what those needs will be, and what steps you need to take to be able to care for them. Your dog will need extra time, effort, and could possibly need more financial support. Before you make your decision, make sure you understand your dog and take these extra steps in his care.

Go to the vet regularly. Your dog needs special care, and your vet is an amazing resource for this care. If your dog requires equipment, then your dog’s doctor can get you in touch with the right avenues. They can also help you administer the right medications on a daily basis if your dog has those needs.

Make sure your home is ready for your special needs dog. Take a walk through your home to check for any obstacles for your dog. If your dog is blind or needs assistance moving around, it’s a good idea to block any dangerous stairwells where they could fall or get stuck. It’s also important to make sure you don’t rearrange your home; make sure the space remains as familiar as possible for Fido so that he stays safe and happy in your home.

Check your dog daily for injuries or other sores. Particularly if your dog is paralyzed, he may not be able to feel if he is injured. Check him at least once a day for any injuries or sores that could easily become infected or cause other problems for your dog. If you do discover anything, take him to the vet as soon as you’re able to get it taken care of.

Assist your dog when needed. A special needs dog will need guidance. He may become stuck in corners because of an injury, blindness, or the equipment he uses to get around. This also includes helping him find his food, and also helping him move around yourself if he has mobility issues. Look into adaptive devices if this is the case.

Don’t change your dog’s surroundings. Special needs dogs need consistency. This is especially important when it comes to his surroundings. A blind dog or a dog who needs assistive equipment moving around needs a home that doesn’t change. He needs a familiar walkway so he can play in his home without the fear of becoming trapped or even lost.

Use diapers when necessary. Especially as dogs age, they unfortunately can become ill and their needs become more prominent. If Fido is losing control of his bladder, consider buying dog-friendly diapers to assist him while you’re not home. If you’re able, try going home during lunch breaks and ask your boss if you can bring your dog to work on days when you don’t have clients visiting. This will relieve a lot of stress, and your dog will enjoy being with you.

Give your dog as normal a life as possible. Just as with people, dogs don’t enjoy being treated differently than other dogs. They want to play, go on walks, and travel with you. Exercise him, bring him on vacations when you can, and make sure to play. Your special needs dog will bring excitement, happiness, and love to your life.

Summertime Fun with Your Dog

Summertime in Florida is the best time of the year. There are less people, almost no traffic, and the sun is shining. But there are important factors you need to keep in mind, especially if you’re thinking of bringing your dog along. The top 3 factors you need to keep in mind are sunshine, heat, and weather changes. So, when you decide to take your dog along for your summertime adventure, make sure you’re properly prepared.

Always have plenty of water. Even if you’re headed somewhere that’s “dog friendly,” make sure you bring water and a bowl for your pup. Some dogs won’t drink from a public source, and others are too submissive to bother trying. The water can also be used on the bottom of their sensitive paws if they have to walk across a hot surface, or if they need some help cooling down.

Never leave your dog unattended. Did you know that on a summer day in Florida, the inside of your car can reach temperatures between 130 and 172 degrees? This is beyond safe for a dog, and could easily kill him within just an hour, causing heat stroke in even less time.

Avoid extreme heat if you can. Extreme heat is a killer for humans, and it’s the same for our four-legged friends. A safe rule of thumb to go by is that if it’s hotter than 85, don’t bring the dog along. Even if the place you’re going is inside, your pup could burn his sensitive paws on the hot asphalt on the way in and out. When you do take your dog for his morning and evening walks, consider going at twilight and sunset. The sun will be less intense and it’ll be more comfortable for both of you.

When bad weather is on the way, keep your dog calm and safe. Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. On top of that, thunderstorms are an everyday occurrence during summertime in Florida. There are many dogs that are not only uncomfortable with rain and storms, but they are terrified. It’s helpful to give them a safe place in the house to hide if they become scared, or even something they can wear like a Thundershirt. Some owners even give their dogs anti-anxiety medications if they know bad weather is on the way.

Summertime is everyone’s favorite season. When you’re thinking of including Fido in your plans, make sure you’re properly prepared.

The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

According to most veterinarians – depending on size – most dogs are considered “seniors” at age seven. Many shelters are filled with healthy, active senior dogs searching for their forever homes. While an aged dog with a graying face may not be the first thing to come to mind when considering adopting an animal, pet owners should consider the positive aspects of adopting a senior dog.

  1. Senior dogs at shelters need homes just as badly as younger dogs.

Senior dogs are oftentimes more likely to be euthanized more quickly at shelters than are their younger counterparts. Families go to the shelter expecting to only see young dogs, but there are plenty of seniors ready to be taken home and loved. They’ve been loved for many years by the same family and had to be given up for one reason or another, so their situation is just as dire as the younger ones.

  1. Older dogs are not “problem dogs.”

Most older dogs do not lose their homes because of behavioral or health issues. Generally, it’s because of a change in the owner’s life, such as illness, allergies, the arrival of a new baby, or even moving somewhere that the dog is not welcome. Older dogs make wonderful pets, and they are more likely to be euthanized faster than the younger ones.

  1. Older dogs are usually trained.

Generally, senior dogs know at least the basic commands, such as “sit” or “stay.” You don’t have to potty train the dog, and they have good leash manners. They just need a loving home.

  1. Older dogs are easily trainable.

Whoever said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” never adopted a senior dog! Dogs are trainable at every age and every stage. It just requires patience and attentiveness from the owner.

  1. Older dogs are calmer.

Young dogs are rambunctious and require more energy than most senior dogs. Your average senior dog is happy with a nice walk a couple times a day, a comfortable bed, and a person to cuddle with. Less training is required, and they really just want a friend.

  1. Older dogs make great companions.

Senior dogs want your love and attention, period. They have given and received love already in their life, and they know how wonderful it is living in a home surrounded by humans who love them. Give them some exercise, a bed, and lots of cuddles, and you have an instant best friend.

Arthritis Care Options for Dogs


Just like humans, dogs can begin to have issues related to arthritis as they begin to get older, and it can prove to be quite painful for your pet. If your dog has issues related to joint pain, it is important that you do some research and consult your veterinarian to discuss some of the treatment options that exist. The more time you spend looking into different options available, the better chance there is that your pet will get the relief they need.

Here are a number of options that have been known to be effective solutions for dogs that are suffering from arthritis.

Managing your dog’s weight

If your dog is a bit overweight, then helping your dog to lose weight can result in less pressure and stress on its joints, which can then help to greatly reduce the amount of discomfort and pain they are feeling on a daily basis. There are a vast number of different ways that you can help your dog to lose weight, such as by avoiding giving it human food scraps and changing their diet altogether by changing the food you have been giving them to something that is a healthier option. There are a number of brands of dog food that are focused on the task of helping a dog to lose weight.

Physical Therapy

There are a number of certain exercises that a pet owner can do with a dog to help in significantly reducing the amount of pain the dog is experiencing. Physical therapy can be very effective when it comes to treating arthritis in dogs, just as it can be in treating arthritis in humans, but a pet owner has to seek the advice of a professional in order to get started and make sure the exercises are being done in the right way. These exercises can be extremely helpful in assisting a dog toward a path of greater health, comfort and happiness.

Natural Supplements for Joints

There are a vast number of different dog supplements for joints that can prove to be a safe and definitive method in treating arthritis for dogs. These supplements consist of all-natural ingredients that have been proven to help with reducing the pain and inflammation that is closely associated with arthritis. If a dog owner is committed to helping their dog heal naturally, this is most likely the best option that is available.


Just as it has proven to be extremely helpful to humans, acupuncture can also be a good way to get your beloved pet the relief it needs from its pain related to arthritis. Acupuncture can be helpful in treating a wide number of ailments, including arthritis. If nothing else you have tried in gaining relief for your dog has seemed to work enough to provide the relief you are seeking for your dog, this is an option that is available. Please be sure to do research and find someone who has experience performing acupuncture on animals to make sure it is done properly and that your pet receives relief versus harm from someone who may not be experienced in treating dogs.

Ensure Your Dog Gets Regular Checkups

Ensuring your dog gets regular checkups at the veterinarian can go a long way towards helping them to maintain healthy and extend their life, ultimately. The vet will be able to notice any changes in the dog’s overall health and may be able to suggest treatments that will be of help. It is always better to treat things as they arise, rather than when the condition is at an advanced level.


Tips to Help Extend the Life of Your Pet Dogs and Cats

For anyone who has ever had dogs or cats, the same wish has likely crossed their mind regarding how to extend the life of their beloved pet. Here are a few tips to ensure a long, healthy life for your pet.

High quality food

Like humans, dogs and cats that are fed a high quality diet have shiny coats, healthy skin, and bright eyes. A high quality diet can also help to strengthen your pet’s immune system, help them to maintain healthy intestines, help to keep them full of energy, support healthy muscles, and much more.

Keep your pet at a moderate weight

Pets that are overweight are at risk of being challenged with a vast number of health issues. Obesity is the number one nutritional disease that is currently seen in dogs and cats and is known to possibly shorten a pet’s life by as much as two years. Pets who are obese are at risk for joint disease, heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other issues

Ensure regular veterinary care

Dogs and cats both require regular veterinary care, which extends beyond routine vaccinations. A routine examination by a veterinarian can reveal health issues that you may have not yet noticed. In many cases, an early diagnosis can dramatically improve chances of treatment that is beneficial and ultimately successful. Early detection can also be less costly.

Oral Health

Oral health issues among dogs and cats can be painful for your pet and even make it difficult for them to eat. If any oral health issue is left untreated it may even lead to heart and kidney issues. It is important to take your pet for regular dental examinations and brush their teeth regularly. If your pet does not allow for you to easily brush their teeth at home, there are other options, such as diets, treats and toys that support oral health. An experienced veterinarian should be able to make suggestions.

Keep careful watch over your pet

Permitting pets to roam freely, without supervision or your protection, can put them at risk for dangerous situations, such as exposures to diseases, exposure to poisonous items, getting injured by a car or another animal, and more.

For anyone who has a pet, they are a family member and should be cared for as such to ensure they live lives that are as healthy, happy and long as possible.

Why Maintaining an Average Weight is Important for Your Dog’s Health


Excess weight has been linked to a variety of conditions that can affect a dog’s health. Some of these condition will impact the quality and length of life for your pet. Other conditions include joint issues, back issues, inflammation and problems with the lungs and heart.

A study based on Labrador Retrievers discovered that dogs who were average weight versus overweight went on to live an average of 2 years longer than those who were overweight by 15 percent or more. The dogs that were of average weight also had a higher instance of avoiding chronic illnesses fro longer periods of time or altogether. Other studies have connected weight loss in previously overweight dogs improved issues that had been causing pain to dogs and increased their energy.

Other reports also indicate that leaner dogs have had a delay in any onset of arthritis when compared to their overweight counterparts observed simultaneously.

A study based on 700 dogs indicated that seriously overweight dogs of all breeds were at increased risk of intervertebral disc disease (slipped disc), but in some breeds where there was higher risk, like the Miniature Dachshund, the risk of back issues increased if the dogs were even moderately over the average weight for that breed.  For dogs who had to undergo any kind of surgery related to back or limbs, being overweight helped to speed up recovery time.

Amongst those who study the health and nutrition of dogs, it is known that fat tissue can cause ongoing inflammation throughout the body and this can, in turn, cause other diseases. Even if it is not immediately noticeable, this fat releases hormones that can increase inflammation in the body. It is best to be in tune with what your dog weighs and improve the situation for your pet’s health before it gets worse and leads to other diseases.

Excessive weight in dogs has also been connected with changes in the condition of their heart, reduced respiratory function and tracheal collapse. Although there is no clear indication that obesity causes these diseases, it is known that the excess weight complicates the condition and makes the disease more difficult to treat. In dogs that have suffered heatstroke, obesity has been found to be a risk factor for the worse outcomes.

There are issues connected to obesity that involve almost every system in a dog’s body. Even without signs that are clear, excessively overweight dogs have higher anesthesia risks and medical costs. Excess weight is easier to prevent than to treat, so maintaining your pet at a healthy weight for the length of their life will help keep your dog healthier and happier, as well as extend their life.